Marcel Duchamp

Genius or Charlatan?

by Colin Pink

Monday 4th April 2022

Marcel Duchamp is most famous for attempting to exhibit a urinal as a piece of sculpture but there is much more to this artist than sanitary ware. He is arguably the most influential artist of the second half of the twentieth century being credited with paving the way for conceptual art and postmodernism. Because he is so influential on today’s art we tend to think of him as a much more recent artist than in fact he was.

Duchamp was born in 1887 and started out as a member of the Cubist group. We’ll look at the whole of Duchamp's fascinating and elusive career. If you think Grayson Perry was the first to use cross-dressing in their work think again. There is a lot of humour and also frank sexual content in Duchamp’s work and it will become apparent that his main theme is Eros.

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Colin Pink has a BA in Philosophy and Politics from the University of Southampton and a MA in the History of Art from Birkbeck, University of London. He specialises in the interrelationship between the history of ideas and the history of art and has lectured on aspects of modern art at a wide range of cultural organisations: Putney School of Art and Design; the Temenos Academy; APT Studios; Mascalls Gallery; the Museum of Futures, Surbiton; the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings and the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea. He also curates exhibitions and has published two books of poetry: Acrobats of Sound, 2016 and The Ventriloquist Dummy’s Lament, 2019.

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